Happy Chinese New Year of the (water)

As of January 22, the lunar new year will be the Year of the Water Rabbit. The year of the what??! Never heard of it? You’re not alone. We’re all familiar with the 12 animals (Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig) of the Chinee zodiac that is associated with each lunar year. But apparently, each of these animals is also paired with the five elements (earth, fire, metal, water and wood) in rotation, creating a 60-year rotation. Rabbits have a unique spot in Chinese folklore. There’s the Jade Rabbit: supposedly the Jade Emperor disguises himself as a beggar to search for an animal to help him find the elixir of life. He came across a rabbit that jumped into the fire to provide food for the “beggar.” Impressed by the altruistic act, the emperor took the rabbit to the moon where they make the elixir of life to this day.

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Asians in America: dialog with Qiang Fang, professor of East Asian History, UM-Duluth


"A Nation of Immigrants"* is a biweekly talk show featuring the lives of U.S. immigrants, knowledge, diversity and inclusion.  This program was created by Kingsfield Law Office in collaboration with ThinkTech Hawaii.  Every other week, "A Nation of Immigrants" will be broadcast live on multiple local channels in Hawaii and streamed on www./thinktechhawaii.com and major internet platforms.  The host of "A Nation of Immigrants" is Chang WANG, partner of Kingsfield Law Office. 

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Xi, Ma hold historic talks in Singapore

Xi Jinping and Ma Ying-jeou wave hands during their meeting at the Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore, Nov. 7, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]


BEIJING, Nov. 7 (Xinhua) -- Traversing nearly seven decades of vicissitudes in cross-Strait relations, Xi Jinping and Ma Ying-jeou met and shook hands in Singapore, making Nov. 7 a day to remember for Chinese across the Taiwan Strait.

In an unprecedented direct communication between leaders across the Strait, the two exchanged views on pushing forward the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations in an earnest and profound manner during a face-to-face meeting.

The landmark meeting will undoubtedly instill more confidence in a bright future of cross-Strait relations for compatriots on both sides, and proves to the international community that Chinese people across the Strait are fully capable of solving their own issues and jointly contributing to regional and global peace, stability and development.

This hard-earned achievement followed 66 years of cross-Strait history that have sailed through military confrontation and division to warming ties.

Since 2008, the two sides have signed 23 agreements.  According to Ma, over 40,000 students have taken advantage of academic exchange programs, and now more than 8 million tourists travel between the two sides each year.  Annual trade is now worth over 170 billion U.S. dollars.

The future can be foreseen by examining the past.  Historical facts have proven that tension and confrontation can only bring misery while the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations is the correct path that benefits both sides.

During Saturday's closed-door meeting, Xi called for adhering to the common political consensus of the two sides, referring to the 1992 Consensus reached between the two sides that endorses the one-China principle.

Xi also called for consolidating and deepening the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations, boosting well-being of people from both sides, and working together to achieve the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

People across the Strait are one family, and a traditional Chinese idiom has it that a harmonious family is the basis for all successes.  As Xi said, the two sides should make further efforts to boost exchanges in various aspects to benefit people, tighten their emotional ties and consolidate mutual understanding.

With strengthened exchanges and dialogues, mutual trust and efforts to contain disputes, obstacles will be overcome and further breakthroughs can be achieved.  It is sincerely hoped that responsible parties and individuals across the Strait will join forces to secure a brighter future for the two sides and ensure a peaceful and wonderful life for cross-Strait people and future generations.

Beijing just embraced its first snow of the season.  As the Chinese saying goes, heavy snow promises good harvests next year.  May the Xi-Ma meeting elevate cross-Strait exchanges to a higher level and bring bumper crops for many years to come.


China's Third Plenum: a recap

by Elaine Dunn

First off: what is the “Third Plenum,” you ask? A plenum is a meeting of the Communist Party’s Central Committee and a platform for the Party’s Central Committee leaders to announce major reforms. The third plenum is important because, usually, the first introduces the new leadership, the second focuses on personnel and the third is when the new leadership introduces its economic and political blueprint for the next decade.

By Lisong Liu, Staff Writer

Unlike the state organs we introduced in previous issues, such as the National People’s Congress and the State Council, which could easily find their counterparts in other countries, the CPCC is kind of a political institution and a part of the party system “with remarkable Chinese characteristics.” It was established during the Civil War in the late 1940s, while the relations between the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the democratic parties within CPCC trace back even to the War of Resistance Against Japan in the 1930s. CPCC could be said to be the witness of the tremendous transformation of China in the last century.

In this article we talk about the central people’s government of PRC: the State Council. It is the highest executive body of the state power and the highest organ of state administration. We will first introduce the composition and functions of the State Council, then pay more attention to the new government’s institutional reform as adopted by the 10th National People’s Congress (NPC) this year.

By Lisong Liu, Staff Writer

In the last issue [we] outlined the state structure of PRC. Here we will discuss the National People’s Congress (NPC) in greater detail. Under the constitution, NPC is the highest organ of state power in China. In other words, NPC formally ranks above the State Council, the Central Military Commission (CMC), the Supreme Court and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP).

I. History of NPC

NPC was established in 1954 based on the Soviet Union’s Supreme Soviet. China has convened ten NPCs up to now, respectively 1954, 1959, 1964, 1975, 1978, 1983, 1988, 1993, 1998, and the most recent from March 5 to 18, 2003, which elected a new political leadership and approved important changes in the organization of government. During the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), NPC like many other state organs was hardly at work; after that NPC gradually restored its power and progressed with the political and economic reform in China. The 1982 Constitution redefined its organizations and increased deputies’ influence over public affairs. NPC restored and expanded its working organs, and some new committees were created such as the Internal and Judicial Affairs Committee in 1988 and the Environmental and Resources Protection Committee in 1993. 

Chinese Government Basics

By Lisong Liu, Staff Writer

Based on public documents, and serving as an objective description of Chinese political systems and state organs, this short article will outline the state organs and their functions including the National People’s Congress (NPC), the Presidency, the State Council, the Central Military Commission (CMC), the Supreme People’s Court (SPC), the Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP), and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). First, however, it is necessary to look at how the state organs are defined and related to the Constitution and the Communist Party of China (CPC).

Constitution and the Communist Party of China (CPC)


The existing Constitution of China was adopted at the fifth session of the 5th National People’s Congress on December 4, 1982 and was amended in 1988, 1993 and 1999. The Constitution defines the socialist system as the basic system of China, and establishes the goal of the leadership of CPC in China, which is to lead people to build socialism with Chinese characteristics. The Constitution defines the fundamental rights and duties of citizens, the National Flag, the National Emblem and the Capital, as well as the state structure at both central and local levels.

By Julia Gu

Feb. 3 – At the eighth annual World Famous Brands Assembly (WFBA) recently held in Jakarta, Indonesia, the U.S.-China Economic Trade and Investment General Chamber of Commerce, the Europe-America-Asia Cooperation Union for Investment in Industry and Commerce, and the World Cities and World Business Research Association jointly released a list of the “2011 Top 50 Chinese Cities with Strongest Investment Potential.”

Chinese Vise President Xi JinpingBy Greg Hugh, Staff Writer

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping concluded his recent visit to the United States when he left Los Angeles, California, wrapping up his official visit to the Unites States completing the first leg of his three nation tour which also took him to Ireland and Turkey.

Xi visited Washington, DC, the state of Iowa and Los Angeles during the five-day trip to America as a guest of his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden. He met with U.S. President Barack Obama and held talks with Biden. He also participated in a number of trade and economic events and had wide-ranging contacts with the American people from all walks of life.

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CHINAINSIGHT is the only English-language American newspaper to focus exclusively on connections between the United States and the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

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